Students with a bachelor's degree in horticulture, culinary arts, health or environmental sustainability are eligible to enroll in a master herbalist graduate certificate program. Certificate courses include topics in secular practice, medical-based use, and identifying applications for different plants. These programs can be taken along with other related programs. Training in western herbology or graduate certificate programs in Chinese herbal medicine are also available. They emphasize botany, herbal therapies, and related subjects. Chinese herbal medicine candidates need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field; some states require a current acupuncturist license.
Master Herbalist Graduate Certificate
In a graduate master herbalist certificate program or certificate program in medical herbalism, students gain a foundation in modern and traditional herbal knowledge, along with applicable techniques. Some programs focus on helping students integrate their studies into their daily lives; others help students apply the knowledge to healthcare-related situations. Herbalist programs emphasize using natural herbs safely while encouraging dosage efficacy and promoting product quality.
Courses teach students how to use herbs in cooking, and for supplements or remedies. Programs also teach how to rotate herbal intake according to the time of year and changing climate. Enrollees study herbs, scientific research methods, and healthcare-related subjects. Herbology classes teach students to select, plant and prepare herbal remedies. Healthcare-related classes focus on using medically sound herbal knowledge and techniques when treating an illness. Some common classes are listed below:
- Herbs as medicine
- Cooking with healthy herbs
- Plant identification and uses
- Herbal research
Chinese Herbal Medicine Certificate
This certificate program teaches students about modern and traditional Chinese herbal remedies. Students learn to diagnose illnesses and promote healing through the preparation of herbal medications or implementing therapeutic techniques. Students are encouraged to practice their skills at local clinics, therapeutic centers, and stores. Program enrollees have the option to study in China. Courses include:
- Medical applications
- Drugs and herb interactions
- Herbal therapy
Popular Career Options
Depending on the program's focus--whether medical based or wellness promoting--graduates can enter work at herbal medicine clinics and health clubs, or they can open their own clinics and run herbal remedy stores. One can also practice herbology as a:
- Wellness guide
- Herbal store owner
- Natural remedies consultant
- Herbal supplements vendor
- Herbal remedies researcher
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't list the employment outlook and salary information for herbalists, it does classify these workers under health diagnosing and treating practitioners. In May 2015, there were 35,750 of these workers in the field. That year, they earned a mean annual wage of $85,120.
Master herbalist and Chinese herbal medicine graduate certificate programs teach students how to scientifically use plants in order to cure medical conditions. Many graduates work as health diagnosing and treating practitioners and can earn more than $80,000 annually.